The primary significance concerning the life of the believer is not him in Christ, but Christ in him! It is not the life of the believer that produces the doing of “the will of God” (1 John 2:17), but the life of Christ within the believer—“through the Spirit” (1 Pet 1:22 KJV); and it is not the life of the Holy Spirit that He imparts and utilizes but it is “Christ, who is our life” (Col 3:4).
Our position (un-hinderingly heavenly bound) in Christ always takes precedence over our condition on the earth (irrevocably regenerated—Rom 11:29, NKJ, despite the presence and effects of the Adamic nature) and this truth is why we are to “think on these things” (Phil 4:8) and not on what we are in our “old man,” which “is crucified” (Rom 6:6). –NC
“Grace, Mercy and Peace”
The Lord Jesus, as our High Priest, is not compassed about with infirmity. Mark the consequences of that: His being in heaven, He brings all the perfectness of the thoughts and feeling of the place He is in to bear upon us. I have these infirmities and difficulties, and He helps me into all the perfectness of the heavenly places where He is. That is just what I want. He can show a path, and feel what a path is of passing through this world, and bear the hearts down here clear up to heaven.
People often think of priesthood as a means of getting justified; but then God has the character of a judge in their eyes. They are afraid to go straight to Him, and, not knowing grace and redemption, they think of enlisting Christ on their behalf. This is all wrong. Many a soul has done it in ignorance and infirmity, and God meets it there, but it is to mistake our position as Christians.
Does the intercession of the Lord Jesus depend upon our going to get it? It is when I have gotten out of fellowship with the Father—when not going to Him—that I have an advocate with the Father. The Lord Jesus prayed for Peter before He committed the sin. It is His living grace in all our need—His thought for us, or we should never be brought back. It was when Peter had committed the sin that He looked on him.
Even when we have committed faults, His grace thus comes in. It is in heaven He is doing it; then how can we have aught to say to Him if we have not righteousness? The reason I can go in is because my justification is settled. He has given me title of going into heaven in virtue of what He is, “Jesus Christ, the righteous” and what He has done on the Cross on my behalf.
Our place is in the light as God is in the light—sitting in heavenly places in Christ. Our walk on earth is not always up to this (to say the least). Our title is always the same, but our walk is not. Then what is to be done? I am within the veil, and not in a condition to go there at all. The priesthood of the Lord Jesus is there to reconcile the discrepancy between our position in heaven, and our condition down here. The Lord Jesus is the righteous One; and the righteousness I have in Him is the title I have to the presence of my Father. The priestly intercession restores me to the communion of the place where I am in righteousness. It is immediately connected with the perfectness of His own walk down here and the place where He now is.
Satan came to Him, when here, and found nothing. He ought to find nothing in us, but he does. I do not want to spare the flesh; then there is the Word of God for that. “Come boldly to the throne of grace.” This is going straight to the Father, not to a priest. It is to the “throne of grace.” We want mercy; we are poor weak things, and need mercy; in failure we need mercy; as pilgrims we are always needing mercy.
What mercy was shown the Israelites in the wilderness! God even cared for the clothes on their backs! Think of the mercy that would not let their feet swell in that torrid desert. Then, when they wanted a way, Oh! says God, I will go before with the ark to provide a way. Just like us on the way to heaven. We are as grasshoppers, they say; but the real question is, what our Father is!